Overcoming hardships to help others succeed

Stephanie Bermudez

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David Meraz, a 21-year old political science major, has learned through trials in his own life to give back, and hopes to one day have a positive effect on the world. Photo Credit: Stephanie Bermudez / Staff Reporter

David Meraz’s lifelong goal is not to be doctor, not to be an actor, or not even to be rich and famous. Instead, Meraz’s goal in life is to change the world in some way, shape or form.

“I don’t know where to begin, or why I haven’t begun, but I’m going to do it,” said the 21-year old political science major.

Meraz has had a number of life changing experiences and in return, he would like help change people’s lives for the better.

When Meraz was 14-years-old his younger brother was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. The cancer was found on his hip and affected his whole leg causing him growing pains. Eleven months later, a day before Meraz’s fifteenth birthday, his brother passed away.

“I was always very hopeful through the whole thing but if I never went through that in my life, I would never be the person I am today,” said Meraz.

Meraz recalls, coming to his Palmdale home each day, doing homework, preparing dinner, and driving with his mom or dad to Los Angeles to see his brother every day.

In honor of his younger brother and other young kids with cancer, Meraz and his family played a role in passing the “Nick Snow Children’s and Palliative Care Act” signed in 2006, which was designed to meet many unique needs of children with cancer.

Recently Meraz’s life was changed again when Californians voted to end same sex marriage with Proposition 8.

Meraz said he will never forget the day the proposition passed, “I was at work when I found out. I was so furious,” he said. “I filled up my car with four other people; we quickly made signs, and rushed to West Hollywood and walked the streets and protested.”

Since Meraz has been active in several same sex rallies and walks, he said his most memorable time was when he walked with Gavin Newsom, the San Francisco Mayor who defends same sex marriage.

Unfortunately Meraz was unable to work for the “No Hate on Prop 8” campaign this semester but he plans to work on it sometime soon and he looks forward to the day the proposition will be overturned.

Along with the activism he does for Prop 8, Meraz is passionate about political science. “I love politics, that why I chose my major,” he said.

Meraz recalls listening to President Bill Clinton’s State of the Union speech when he was in eigth grade and being intrigued by politics until this day.

This summer Meraz plans to be a camp counselor for the Ronald McDonald camp. “When my brother was sick, he went to the Ronald McDonald Camp and I’ve always wanted to do that,” he said.

“I’m still waiting for the avenue, but I actually want to move something, I want to change something,” he said. “I have a spark for our generation but I don’t know where to start or how to get my whole generation united on one thing.”